Posts

October 07, 2014

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2:38 PM | New Zealand sees spike in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis; bagged carrots and lettuce investigated
Over 100 illnesses of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis have been seen by New Zealand health authorities in the past couple of weeks and investigators are trying to find the common source. According to the New Zealand Herald, packaged produce is at the top … Continue reading →
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12:52 PM | NACCHO Hospital Preparedness Checklist For Ebola Webinar
  # 9157   Given the speed at which the Ebola story is moving, it isn’t terribly surprising that a Webinar sponsored on September 29th by NACCHO - on preparing for the possibility of seeing an imported Ebola case in the United States -  has now been overtaken by actual events.     Still, that only makes the infection control message delivered by this webinar all the more important.   The Webinar was limited to only 1,000 viewers, but has […]
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12:13 PM | BacterioFiles 185 - Bacteroid Builds Beta-lactam Buffer
This episode: Antibiotic-degrading probiotics protect mouse gut microbes from hostile pathogen takeover after antibiotic treatment! Download Episode (7.8 MB, 8.5 minutes)Show notes:News item/Journal Paper Other interesting stories: Insect bacterial symbionts can pass to offspring through sperm (paper) Studying human history thru microbes in fossilized feces Fungi can clean up composting-resistant pollutants in soil Microbes could make useful product from industrial wastewater Bacterial […]
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11:41 AM | I see in your NJ future, vermin in your fortune cookies
The ubiquitous fortune cookie, a staple of any Chinese takeout, could be a cesspool of dirt, disease and disgustingness. But its New Jersey. According to Daily Finance, when inspectors from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration visited the fortune cookie … Continue reading →
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11:15 AM | WHO Informal Consultation On How Science Can Inform Our Response To The Ebola Outbreak
Credit CDC PHIL   # 9156   Although the oft repeated meme `We know how to control Ebola’  is still being uttered, the truth is we have entered uncharted territory with this epidemic. Tactics that always worked well in Ebola outbreaks of the past – which struck in smaller populations that were remote, rural, and not terribly mobile -  have come up short with the virus now spreading in both rural and urban centers across three West African nations.   […]
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10:58 AM | US consumers are misled about organic safety
I normally stay away from the organic nonsense because it’s about lifestyle, not safety. But John Block of The Des Moines Register writes that every day millions of shoppers are paying out as much as 50 or 100 percent more … Continue reading →
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10:34 AM | Spain: MOH Statement On Ebola Infected Nurse & News Roundup
  # 9155   In a follow up to yesterday’s report (see Nurse `Infected With Ebola’ In Madrid, Spain) we are seeing more details emerge, including demands from the EU for clarification on how this infection could have occurred (see AFP article EU demands explanation from Spain on Ebola case) in a modern hospital that knew they were receiving and treating an Ebola case.   ABC News is reporting that Spain Places Husband of Ebola Nurse in Quarantine – a […]
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12:28 AM | WHO on Ebola virus transmission
The World Health Organization has issued a situation assessment entitled ‘What we know about transmission of the Ebola virus among humans‘. WHO is rather later entering the transmission discussion which began on 12 September 2014 with the suggestion that Ebola virus transmission could go airborne. But WHO is a big organization and moves slowly; nevertheless […]
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12:06 AM | Effect of high hydrostatic pressure on Salmonella inoculated into creamy peanut butter with modified vomposition
Peanut butter has been associated with several large foodborne salmonellosis outbreaks. This research investigates the potential of high hydrostatic pressure processing (HPP) for inactivation of Salmonella in peanut butter of modified composition, both by modifying its water activity as well … Continue reading →
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12:00 AM | Effect of acid adaptation and acid shock on thermal tolerance and survival of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and O111 in apple juice
Gradual exposure to moderate acidic environments may enhance the thermal tolerance and survival of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in acid and acidified foods. Limited studies comparing methodologies to induce this phenomenon have been performed. The effects of strain and physiological state … Continue reading →

October 06, 2014

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9:17 PM | Dimples Are A Genetic Flaw
They might look  cute on the right person, but did you know that dimples are a genetic flaw? How is it that something that looks so nice and enticing can be considered a genetic flaw? Well, genes don’t particularly care about looks. What matters…The post Dimples Are A Genetic Flaw appeared first on Just Science.
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9:16 PM | How to Be An Involved Parent at School
Why and How to Get Involved in Your Child’s School   Want to know what’s going on at your child’s school? Getting involved with some of their everyday and special events is a great way to immerse yourself in your child’s school world. However, for…The post How to Be An Involved Parent at School appeared first on Just Science.
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7:16 PM | The Sophisticated European Scientist
Another example of how European scientists are more sophisticated than their American counterparts. Tweet This Post
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7:10 PM | MSF Statement On Norwegian Staff Member Infected With Ebola
  # 9154   Although stringent infection control and proper PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment) have proven their ability to protect Health Care Workers against infection with the Ebola virus, one of the realities of life is that achieving 100% compliance - 100% of the time - is a daunting task.    Earlier today we learned of a Spanish Nurse who was infected while treating a patient in Madrid, and now we have the following statement from MSF (Médecins Sans […]
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6:33 PM | 2013 Retro Post: Science Program at Lake Vanda
Once the full field team was out on site at Lake Vanda, we started the science program.  Water sampling and measurements of the lake’s physical properties came first, and diving operations began a few days later.  Everything was scheduled to make the most of our short time on site – we didn’t want to have a backlog of samples to be processed when microscopes were tied up or use up the nicest parts of the day with tasks that could easily be done inside the […]
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6:21 PM | 2013 Retro Post: Setting up camp at Lake Vanda
For all the drama that went into getting this field season started, everything went very smoothly once we were able to get down to the ice.  Antarctica New Zealand did a phenomenal job picking up the bits of operations that had originally relied on the United States Antarctic Program.   This is an overview post on the field season as a whole, and I plan to revisit specifics of the work in later posts.We had a quick transition in Scott Base, made a bit quicker than we had planned […]
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6:08 PM | Return to Lake Joyce -- kicking off the 2014 field season
In just a few short days, I will be heading to New Zealand to start up my fourth Antarctic field season.  This year we are planning to spend two months on site at Lake Joyce, making up for time we lost to the government shutdown last year.Our current plan is to fly south from New Zealand on October 15, making our way in to McMurdo Station to work through the US Antarctic Program.  It will be a bit of a transition to go through the US rather than the New Zealand Antarctic program this […]
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5:52 PM | Media Reports: Nurse `Infected With Ebola’ In Madrid, Spain
    # 9153 This story has been making the wires for perhaps an hour now, with more details beginning to filter out.  Based on multiple media reports (I find nothing yet on the Spanish MOH site), one of the nurses who attended the Spanish Missionary who was evacuated to Madrid  and subsequently died in late September has apparently tested positive for the virus.   At this time, we don’t have any information as to what kind of breakdown in infection […]
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4:45 PM | Saudi MOH Announces 7th Recent MERS Case In Taif
# 9152   Although the overall number of new MERS cases reported in Saudi Arabia remains far below the kind of level we were seeing last spring, today the Saudi MOH announced their 7th case from Taif since September 12th.     Two have involved health care workers, and at least two have reported animal (camel) exposure. Of particular concern, Taif is located just 60 miles to the east of Mecca, where 2 million religious pilgrims have gathered for the […]
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4:12 PM | The WHO Weighs In On The Modes Of Ebola Transmission
  Credit Dr. Ian Mackay’s  VDU Blog    # 9151 A topic we’ve revisited often over the past couple of months are the ways that Ebola might be transmitted among humans.   While clearly not an airborne virus in the classic sense – else we’d have seen this virus already spread to every continent – there are potential routes of infection that do not involve actual direct physical contact with an infected, symptomatic individual. […]
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3:30 PM | Cosmic Karma: Mosquitoes Have Flying, Blood-Sucking Parasites of Their Own
In 1922, a scientist named F.W. Edwards published a paper describing a remarkable thing: a flying, biting midge collected from the Malay Peninsula in southeast Asia that he named Culicoides... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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11:25 AM | 11 Salmonella cases linked to hospitality at Celtic Park in Scotland
A Salmonella outbreak in the Glasgow, Lanarkshire and Highland areas has been linked to hospitality at Celtic Park. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GGC) said 11 people who had eaten at the stadium on 21 September, the day Celtic played … Continue reading →
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9:09 AM | Brief Hiatus
    Into every life a little jury duty must fall, and this week, it has fallen into mine.   I don’t know whether I’ll be away for just  a day, or two or all week.   If I’m able, I’ll try to squeeze a blog or two in after hours, or before I report in the morning, but I’m not very hopeful on that score.  While I’m away (or even when I’m here), I’d encourage you to visit Crofsblog, Dr. Ian […]
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9:07 AM | The Flawed Prokaryote
There are two types of biologist - those who think that prokaryotes exist and those who don't. Continue reading →
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6:57 AM | All Nobel Prizes in 2014 Will be Microbially Themed: The Microbes Guarantee It
So - last year I secretly created a microbiome based spying system that can transmit the thoughts and emails of people who they colonize.  I introduced this community into all the people on the various Nobel Prize committees in order to get information in advance about their plans for the Nobel Prizes. After getting such information, and discovering that the Nobel's this year were NOT focused on microbes, I then created a microbiome-behavioral manipulation system and re-infected the Nobel […]
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3:30 AM | Chromosome Organization the Pseudomonas Way, Part1
by Christoph Weigel | Despite the somewhat murky provenance of their name, pseudomonads are everything but "pseudo-" in terms of their metabolic versatility: they are bacterial omnivores, heterotrophs yet far from picky. Members of the family Pseudomonadaceae (Gammaproteobacteria) are ubiquitous and make up a respectable percentage of the microbes in any sample...

October 05, 2014

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7:35 PM | Lab Rat Lecture
Last month I had the privilege of being invited as a speaker for the Blogging Microbes event at the University of Nottingham. Hosted by Ivan Lafayette it was a great discussion of the role of blogs,... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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6:57 PM | South Carolina health officials investigating two outbreaks of salmonelloisis
In 2009 when I had a Campylobacter infection it took me a few days of puking and diarrhea to go to my doctor. Then it took a week for the lab results. And then it took another week for the … Continue reading →
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5:13 PM | Chicken sausages linked to four illnesses in Alberta
My Wednesday night hockey team grills brats after games sometimes. Sort of a late night tailgate – after a shower and a quick in-dressing room beer, a portable grill is fired up in the parking lot. We each bring an … Continue reading →
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5:05 PM | Bay Area Science Festival!
The Bay Area Science Festival is coming up (October 23rd – November 1, 2014)! I’m involved in three different events, all […]
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